Auctioneer Spotlight: Royal Caribbean International Quantum of the Seas art team
Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know them better as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.
Principal Auctioneer Robin Rose is managing the art program on Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Quantum of the Seas with his two Gallery Directors, Skye Chunyan Li and Juliet Lihua Zhu. Robin is from Worcester, England and studied the arts for four years at the University of Wales, Newport. This is his seventh year with Park West Gallery. Skye, from Nanjing in South China, was working at an art museum before taking her passion to international waters. Juliet, from Hangzhou in China, was a course consultant at a youth art training school prior to joining Park West Gallery.
This is one of our many teams assigned to the rapidly growing Asia cruise market. Not only are they exploring a new region and meeting new clientele, they are one of the first teams to be conducting English-Chinese auctions.
Previous ships: Robin has been on a total of 19 ships, but RCI Quantum of the Seas is his first assignment in Asia. Skye and Juliet were both on Sapphire Princess before joining RCI Quantum of the Seas.
Current ship: RCI Quantum of the Seas
The working relationship between the principal auctioneer and the gallery director is important on all of our ships. How is this even more true on one of the ships pioneering the Asian cruise market?
Robin: Relationships are crucial in any team, but more so in a bi-lingual auction. You need to keep the excitement, momentum and entertainment at the exceptional level Park West is famous for. When you have to pause every other sentence for translation this can be difficult, so we like to inject a lot of humor and have fun in the auction playing off of each other and the audience.
An example of this is that Skye has to translate everything I say, word for word, so I have her tell the crowd that I am the tallest, most handsome man she has ever met! This always gets the audience laughing, especially as she is usually so poised on stage and she blushes terribly!
On a serious note, we’ve reached a level now where she can scarily read my thoughts on the auction block and knows the perfect time to cut in with translations, which keeps the auction fast-paced and exciting.
Skye: It’s especially important in Asia to have a good relationship and cooperate as we conduct English-Chinese auctions.
Juliet: The teamwork really matters. Partners are everything. By working closely, we can always make a difference.What is your favorite client memory since working together as a team?
Robin: One of my favorite memories was a client who collected two Alexander Grinshpun paintings for his very young twin sons. He wanted to ignite the same passion in them for art that he has always had, and the paintings were a great way to nurture that as they grow older.
It is worth pointing out that he also acquired two Rembrandt etchings for himself that I’m sure they’d love to inherit one day! To think we play a minute role in inspiring so many new collections, that in turn will inspire thousands more as their collections are passed down, is incredible. We are part of a dialogue between families that will last centuries. It’s an incredible honor to be a part of that experience.
What is your favorite port you have visited while in Asia?
Robin: Hiroshima, Japan was a very special and reflective time, but my favorite was when we went full tourist mode in Tokyo and experienced everything from giant robots to saki to karaoke bars and mingled amongst thousands at the famous Shibuya Crossing.
Skye: My favorite port is Nagasaki, Japan. That is a flower city, very quiet and clean. I love the flowers and the fresh air.
Juliet: Kobe, Japan. It’s an exotic city mixed with Japanese and western culture. People there are so romantic. They enjoy life and have a passion for art.